Dr. N. Sukumar
Here's the smell of the blood still; All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.1
On April 8, 1929, Bhagat Singh and B.K. Dutt threw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly "to make the deaf hear"2 as their leaflet described the reason for their act. The bomb, deliberately of low intensity, was thrown to protest the repressive Public Safety Bill and Trades Dispute Bill and the arrest of 31 labour leaders in March 1929. Rewind to 2015, the independent Indian State is willing to march step by step with the colonial state when it comes to the brutal repression of people's rights. When Yakub Memon was executed on July 30, 2015, there were murmurs about a possible miscarriage of justice. The Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) in Hyderabad University took out a protest march against the judicial execution.
In any 'free' country, protests symbolize a 'healthy and functioning' democracy, however under the current political dispensation, the message is bold and clear, 'if you are not with us, you are against us'. Like Bush Junior's famous axis of evil, the list of anti-national elements is ever expanding- Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Maoists, Writers, RTI activists, beefeaters, anyone who voices a 'different' opinion. The public sphere is neatly demarcated by the Hindutva/nationalist ideologues who label anyone they dislike with opprobrious epithets, the most powerful being-anti-national. Once you are stuck with such a label, the fascists enjoy the power of judge, jury and executioner over the hapless targets.
The self-styled guardian of 'national interests' in many educational institutions is the ABVP, the student wing of the BJP. It's a foregone conclusion that their natural enemies would be all the sections listed above who do not conform to their idea of a nation. The ASA and ABVP clashed in Hyderabad University after the protests against Yakub Memon's judicial execution and the derogatory comments by the ABVP President.